Fabric Journal

Since I have finished making rugs and bowls, I was looking for something to do. Then I remembered that I had not yet made the monthly block for my 2019 fabric journal.
This is what I have made for the journal so far:

This will be the title page.

January                                                              February

For the April quotation block, I used one of my orphan blocks that I made years ago. Instead of embroidering over the printed quote, as I did on the others, I embroidered over a handwritten quote. It did not come out as neatly as the printed quotes, so lesson learned.

My tendency is to save even the smallest of fabric scraps. I have tried to be more practical and  organized, but my two scrap bins are full. I also save thread scraps. 🙄 As I was getting ready to throw these scraps away, I decided to upcycle them and use them in the April block instead. I threw a small amount of fabric scraps onto 10″ X 10″ muslin block. I scattered and played with the fabric before I threw on some of the thread and ribbon scraps. Then I covered the block with Sulky Wash Away Stabilizer.
I was able to practice some free motion quilting over the stabilizer. Then I cut some larger brown scraps into a tree limb. My sister had shared some birds that she drew, and she gave me permission to print them on fabric. I have made some items for her with these birds, and today, I used one of the birds for this textile art piece. I appliqued the bird and leaves to complete the piece. This fun process just confirmed that I will not be throwing away tiny scraps of fabric or thread. 😉

Happy Birthday, Emma!

Yesterday was Sibling Day. I have the best siblings ever.
The last time all we were all together was at Christmas. My brother lives in another state, so I do not get to see  him as frequently as I would like.
Today, Adri, and I, went to Gruene, Texas to meet up with our sister, Emma. We celebrated her upcoming birthday with lunch at the Gristmill.

Emma is an author and illustrator. She is creative, inspirational, and way too funny.
I had previously made her some pouches for her pens and pencils. She mentioned that she needed some more, so I made two. One pouch is a bit of an odd shape because I was using the leftover fabric from the other pouch I made.

Front View                    Back View

My dad used to call Emma, his “Yellow Rose”. I made a yellow rose brooch for her.

Front View           Back View          Pinned on my wrinkled shirt.

We had the perfect day for sitting by the river for lunch. The food at the Gristmill was great, and being with my sisters was a blast.
I’m the one on the right.

As you can see in the photos, Emma kept us laughing.

Fabric Poetry Journal

The other day, I found this YouTube video by Gina Ahrens. She demonstrated a quick and easy way make a fabric journal with scraps of denim, muslin, and whatever is available. I loved the uneven edges and scrappy look. I had been wanting to make some sort of Poetry Month project, and I thought this journal was just perfect for this project.
I pulled out some scraps of denim, muslin, and lace and made two journals. The journal I made with a lace cover has been set aside for now.
The second journal I made and dedicated it to my mom. Mom loved birds, as do I. The birds would come to her kitchen window and let her know they were ready to be fed. We would sit out on her back porch swing and listen to and watch the birds.
For the cover of the book, I used an art piece from my sister. I had asked if I could print her birds on fabric and embroider them. The embroidery was finished this past March, but I did not know how I was going to use the piece. It makes a perfect cover. I used an old floral handkerchief for the free end covers. I also used some birds that I had stamped onto muslin. The blue thread sketched bird on the first page was the bird I made when I was first trying to learn how to thread sketch. For the border, I tried out some of the stitches that I can make on my sewing machine. I have not really taken the time to try the various stitches, and I found it quite enjoyable. The yellow triangular bird and the heart with the bird that is on the cover, were made from quilted scraps that were in my sewing trash bin. One of my goals is to learn different embroidery stitches, so I took the opportunity to try some new stitches out.
Throughout the process of making this journal, my sewing room became a disaster. Thread, buttons, ribbon, scraps….a huge mess. It took time, but I was determined to clean and organize. I do not like starting the day with a messy sewing room.



It was a beautiful spring morning…just perfect for visiting the Semmes Library and taking a walk in Comanche Lookout Park. I only checked out three books: joyful Daily Stitching by Valerie Bothell; Rule Breaking Quilts by Kathryn Schmidt; the Best-Ever Appplique Sampler by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins. Lots of good stuff in these books!
When I arrived at the library, this Mockingbird was waiting for me. He did not bother to fly away. Instead, he continued to sing and pose for me.

He inspired me to thread sketch this singing bird when I got home.

I was able to get a four mile walk in the park. It rained heavily last night, so everything looked green and fresh. The walk was so energizing and inspirational, the inner me wanted to break out in song. The real me did not want to scare the other walkers in the park with my singing. 😉 I captured this moment in a thread sketch selfie. I am singing, “Oh, what a beautiful morning…”.

I took a few photos along the way. One is a picture of Fox Run Elementary, where I spent 30 of my 42 years of teaching. The picture is taken from the view of the park, by the path where my students and I would take to enter the park. We would write poetry, complete science nature hike activities, and walk to the library. There is also a photo of the educational pavilion in the park near the library. It made me sad to think that the students were stuck inside the building on a beautiful day like today.

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Rope vs. Batting

It has been over a year since I made a fabric bowl using clothesline rope. There was just enough fabric strips left from the coffee bar slice rug I made the other day.

There was some leftover rope in my craft bins, so I decided to make a medium size bowl. I have done two types of rope bowls. One technique is wrapping the fabric around the rope and then sewing directly on the clothesline. The other technique involves folding the fabric wrong sides together and in half. Then, the fabric is folded with each raw edge to the middle. The rope is placed in the center. Then the right side of the fabric is folded up and over the rope; followed by folding the left side up and over the fabric.
After struggling with folding the fabric today, I realized that I prefer the wrapping technique rather than the folding technique.

There were also leftover strips from the Justice League rug that I made my grandson. I had some of the pre-cut batting leftover. Since I did not want to hassle with the rope again, I made a bowl using the batting. I do so much prefer using batting. It lays flat, and it is easier to catch both sides of the fabric.

There is still plenty of rope left in my craft bin. If and when I make another rope bowl, I will use scraps from my stash to wrap around the rope. This way, there will be no wasted fabric or rope. And, it will be easier than using the folded fabric method.

Saturday Stuff

My friend, Nancy, makes some beautiful fabric, floral pins. On one of our Wabi Sabi sewing days, my Meemaw friends and tried our hand at making floral pins.
Today, my sister, Emma, sent me a photo of a fabric brooch that had thread sketching and embroidery. I just had to give it a try.

Now, I am looking online to see what others have done with fabric brooches.
It has been a drizzly, lazy Saturday, so I have not started on any big project. I did complete another thread sketch for the #100 Day Project. I am not a selfie-type person, but I find it easy to thread sketch caricatures of myself. This way, I do not offend anyone.😉
Since I was not able to go for a walk today, I thread sketched a selfie of me taking a walk.

#100 Day Project

One of my goals is to learn how to thread sketch. At this time, I am “drawing” outlines with the thread as my pen. The #100 Day Project is a fun way to keep me practicing. I love making small things, so I chose to make these 2.5″ X 3.5″ fabric business cards. It is quite satisfying to see my stack of fabric cards grow.
Some of the cards will be hand stitched, and others will be thread sketched. I might start fabric painting some of them.

Today’s piece comes after a long day of making a rug, a lunch date, and going for a walk.
Thread Sketching
Big Yawn
Growing stack of fabric cards

April is Poetry month. My message board has a quote by Muriel Rukeyser.

Slice Rug

Yesterday, I found this great tutorial on how to make a slice rug. Jennifer, of Shabby Fabrics, gives great instructions and tips. Jennifer provides a free download of the pattern. It is a 10 page download that was easy to tape together. I reinforced the pattern with lots of tape in order to be able to reuse the pattern. This download helps with the measurement and placement of each strip. I then traced the slice rug pattern onto freezer paper. This way, I did not have to cut up my pattern when it came time to cut the curve of the rug.
Since the rug only calls for 29 strips, I did not want to buy a full jelly roll. I bought minimum yardage of five different fabrics. I chose a coffee theme, since this rug will be placed in front of a coffee bar. The few leftover  strips will be used to make a small fabric coiled bowl or mat.
The batting I used is Bosal Jelly-Roll batting. I find it easier and quicker to use the pre-cut batting.  I cut the fabric strips last night. Jennifer suggest that the strips be sewn in clusters, so I made the strips as I worked on the clusters.
Twenty-nine strips measuring 2.5″ X 40″. The strips were then cut according to the lengths on the pattern.
I took a photo of the placement of the strips.
Then, I used clips to place the batting into the fabric strips. I followed the suggestion to leave the selvage. I numbered each strip on that selvage.
I hung the pattern above my table in order to facilitate the placement of the strips. After I finished the strip clusters, I laid the pattern on the table. Then I placed the strip clusters on top of the pattern in order to get the accurate placement of the strips before stitching together.
I made a freezer paper pattern to place on top of the sewn strips. I traced the curve with a pen, and then cut.
I had set aside two strips to make the binding. I used clips to hold the binding in place.

I thought that this slice rug would be easier than the oval area rug I made yesterday. In a way it is easier, since it is not one long continuous strip, and it is easier to handle.
The challenge was sewing straight strips. I followed the suggestion to steam and spritz with Best Press each section after  I had sewn them together.
I appreciate the generosity of the designer providing a free download and a great tutorial. There are many great ideas, patterns, and tutorials on Shabby Fabrics . You might want to take a look.

100 Day Project

When I was cleaning off my cutting table, I found some muslin strips that had fusible batting. These were left over from a pillow backing that I had made. The strips were 2.5″ by 20″. I couldn’t throw them away, but they aren’t really a good size for anything. Then, I decided to use them to practice embroidery and slow stitching, and thread sketching. It just so happens that the 100 Day Project started, so I decided this will be my daily project.

Day 1: I thread sketched a selfie and backed it with some scraps.

Day 2: I just can’t seem to throw away even the smallest pieces of fabric 😉

Day 3: Thread sketch of two bluebirds.



Jelly-Roll Rug

In her Jelly- Roll Rug pattern, Roma Lambson reminds the reader to RELAX! After fretting about starting to make the rug, I decided to take Roma’s advice. This rug was so much fun to make. It took about 2 1/2 hours to complete. I took a few breaks in between.
My room had to be adjusted to accommodate making this rug. I placed my sewing machine on a smaller table perpendicular to my cutting table. This allowed the rug to fall flat as it got bigger.
I wish I had used more strips of the Justice League fabric to make more of a center point. The only puckering of fabric came on the first couple of rounds. I followed the pattern suggestions and used Best Press and steam to iron the area flat. After the coils started building, there was no problem. I fed the fabric with both my right and left index finger, and let the machine do the rest.

First Break: I removed this first section to iron and flatten the puckered curves.

Second Break: I needed a tall glass of tea!

Third Break: The blue was the final round, but I had to stop and rest my shoulders.


My grandson wanted red, blue, and green for his rug. I added the yellow to go with the colors in the Justice League fabric.  I also made a Justice League envelope pillowcase to go with his rug.

The envelope pillow case was made with one 18″ X 42″ fabric.

I think I will wait a bit before I try making another rug this size. I have found some half-circle fabric rug tutorials online that I might give a try.

It has been a fun day!